Some vital knowledge I picked up from my week (18th April – 22nd April) working at The News was;
- It’s all about having the gift of the gab
- Get as many contacts as you can
- Timing is vitally important
- Every news story needs at least 3 credible sources
- Coffee is highly recommended
The paper covers a large area of Portsmouth and consists of a small team so the tasks I was given varied greatly. For example, one day I went to the X Factor auditions in Portsmouth Cascade shopping center to provide social media coverage for the news, then went to the Royal Navy Base to shadow a reporter conducting an interview.
It’s fair to say that my work experience at The News was an eye opening experience, it was incredibly different the freelancing work I have done previously for online magazine Amor which focused a lot more on fashion and lifestyle pieces as opposed to the news articles I was producing.
Across my week I successfully wrote and published over 5 stories, all of which can be found on my online portfolio all of which were based on Portsmouth itself and the news within it.
As part of my research for the stories I wrote I had to conduct many phone interviews which at first I found very difficult but as the week went on it got slightly easier. Due to not knowing shorthand I had to rely on recording all my phone interviews then listening to them back to decide what was the best quote to use within the story.
I found talking to sources over the phone incredibly interesting, it was very informative to here first hand about the stories and have a base on which to write. Although I did get given the stories by the reporters I was working under, a lot of the time I was given a brief 50-100 words on the background and some phone numbers so I had to investigate the story fully myself.
Although my personal interest is in food, I have had work experience freelancing for a health website writing for their blog which enabled me to further my experience of writing about health. This will be enhanced ever more by my upcoming work experience at healthy magazine in London.
So, when I went for my work experience at Portsmouth News I focused more on the overall journalism experience rather than the content. As a result I feel I managed to improve on the skills I had already acquired in my journalistic training so if I was to leave university and go straight into a newsroom I was prepared.
The Portsmouth News definitely helped enhance my confidence so I could pick up the phone and interview anyone in order to get information for a story as well as investigating the story to uncover every angle.
Overall, my work experience week was incredibly insightful and I’d like to hope I made some vital contacts and they would be willing to allow me to work with them again.
A reference from my time at the newspaper if available.